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Quotes of the day

Published Saturday, December 31, 2011 @ 4:05 AM EST
Dec 31 2011

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
-Bill Vaughan

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
-Benjamin Franklin

Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn't it, of a long line of proven criminals?
-Ogden Nash

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
-Oscar Wilde

I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's.
-Henry Moore

Resolutions, like the good, die young.
-Fulton J. Sheen

The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce the beginning of a new year. It is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
-Thomas Mann

Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to.
-Bill Vaughan

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Bumper sticker of the day

Published Friday, December 30, 2011 @ 12:11 AM EST
Dec 30 2011

I believe in the separation of corporation and state.


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Quotes of the day

Published Thursday, December 29, 2011 @ 12:04 AM EST
Dec 29 2011

Paula Poundstone, (b. December 29, 1959)

Adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because they are looking for ideas.

Can you remember when you didn't want to sleep? Isn't it inconceivable? I guess the definition of adulthood is that you want to sleep.

Cialis says you never know when a moment might turn into something more. Now I'm a nervous wreck.

I don't have a bank account because I don't know my mother's maiden name and apparently that's the key to the whole thing right there.

I got my dog three years ago because I was drunk in a pet store. We had nine cats at the time. The cats started hiding the alcohol after that.

I have terrible short-term memory loss, though I like to think of it as Presidential eligibility.

I was born in Alabama, but I only lived there for a month before I'd done everything there was to do.

I'll bet when Jesus got homework all wasn't calm and all wasn't mild. That's why there are no songs about him at that age.

I'm beginning to suspect that just having a lot of books isn't the same as reading them.

I've decided that perhaps I'm bulimic and just keep forgetting to purge.

If only someone would do for cows what Bambi did for deer. Cows have been in films, but they haven't starred. I'm still willing to eat a species that is only a supporting player.

It is my wish to die of unique causes, perhaps in a high-speed tricycle crash, a bizarre stapling incident, or as a result of inadvertently sucking my brains out through my ear while trying to untwist the vacuum hose.

My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, “Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.”

Remember when you were considered an environmentalist when you didn't throw junk out the car window? I sure do miss that simpler, happier time.

Snow globes have been banned from carry-on airplane luggage. Finally, a good night's sleep.

Sometimes I ask my friend to tell me about “empty nest,” the way Lenny asked George to tell him about the rabbits.

The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an ax-murderer.

The wages of sin are death, but after taxes are taken out, it's just a tired feeling.

They're not going to teach science at all (in Kansas). What they do is take the science students down to the lake, tie them in burlap sacks, and throw them in. If God thinks they're good science students, they float.

We need a twelve-step group for compulsive talkers. They would call it On Anon Anon.

What moron said that knowledge is power? Knowledge is power only if it doesn't depress you so much that it leaves you in an immobile heap at the end of your bed.

Categories: Paula Poundstone, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day

Published Wednesday, December 28, 2011 @ 1:42 PM EST
Dec 28 2011

Susan Sontag, January 16, 1933 - December 28, 2004

Anything in history or nature that can be described as changing steadily can be seen as heading toward catastrophe.

Boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.

Depression is melancholy minus its charms- the animation, the fits.

For a woman, aging is not only her destiny... it is also her vulnerability.

I envy paranoids; they actually feel people are paying attention to them.

Interpretation is revenge of the intellect upon art.

It is not suffering as such that is most deeply feared but suffering that degrades.

Lying is an elementary means of self-defense.

Most people in this society who aren't actively mad are, at best, reformed or potential lunatics.

Much of modern art is devoted to lowering the threshold of what is terrible.

Perversity is the muse of modern literature.

Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to them for blowing their minds.

Sanity is a cozy lie.

Silence remains, inescapably, a form of speech.

Societies need to have one illness which becomes identified with evil, and attaches blame to its victims.

The problems of this world are only truly solved in two ways: by extinction or duplication.

The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known. If there were no speaking or writing, there would be no truth about anything. There would only be what is.

The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Susan Sontag

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Quotes of the day

Published Tuesday, December 27, 2011 @ 1:23 AM EST
Dec 27 2011

Marlene Dietrich (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992)

A country without bordellos is like a house without bathrooms.

A man would rather come home to an unmade bed and a happy woman than to a neatly made bed and an angry woman.

Careful grooming may take twenty years off a woman's age, but you can't fool a flight of stairs.

I am at heart a gentleman.

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.

If men were as great lovers as they think they are, we women wouldn't have time to do our hair.

If there is a supreme being, he's crazy.

It is the friends that you can call at 4 a.m. that matter.

Most women set out to change a man, and when they have changed him they do not like him.

Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.

The weak are more likely to make the strong weak than the strong are likely to make the weak strong.

There is a gigantic difference between earning a great deal of money and being rich.

When you're dead, you're dead. That's it.

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Quote of the day

Published Monday, December 26, 2011 @ 9:55 AM EST
Dec 26 2011

Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out any quicker than the Christmas spirit.
-Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Quote of the day

Published Sunday, December 25, 2011 @ 5:00 AM EST
Dec 25 2011

Merry Christmas, Nearly Everybody!
-Ogden Nash

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Christmas Eve

Published Saturday, December 24, 2011 @ 6:48 AM EST
Dec 24 2011

Christmas Eve 2003, by Forrest Church

I counted them up this afternoon. The math wasn't difficult, but the result still surprises me. This is my twenty-sixth All Souls Christmas Eve homily. One advantage of a long pastorate- a disadvantage as well- is that over time its rhythms become familiar. Having preached so many Christmas Eve sermons, I know exactly what is expected of me tonight and so do you– a brief, poetic interlude to cleanse your mental palette between musical courses. This interlude should be tonal, even if the music isn't. It must allude to tradition, without getting bogged down there. It should be personal in theme without being totally irrelevant to history's unfolding plot. And it must make you feel good, both about yourself and about me. In short, the perfect Christmas Eve homily says relatively little as succinctly and poetically as possible.

Precisely why, on my twenty-sixth go at this, I'm tempted to try something altogether different, I can't really say. But with our world on Orange Alert again, swaddling clothes and magi simply don't cut it for me. I need something more bracing– and you may too– something like an angel to shake us out of our unholy self-absorption. Not the homogenized Hallmark angel with a filigreed golden trumpet, but a terrifying messenger of God, transfiguring the heavens with a blinding light, driving us under our pews, blowing away our pretensions, leaving us quaking in abject wonder at the miracle and portent of it all.

Right now, our national guardians say, the danger of a terrorist attack is high; why then shouldn't the danger of an angel attack be just as high, a healing blast of heart-lifting, ego-smashing, power-bending, lifesaving truth? It's in the script you know. It's in tonight's script.

Just a little while ago we heard again about the shepherds. Try putting yourself in their shoes. Do you really imagine that the shepherds were tickled pink when the night sky exploded above them in a blast of divine proclamation? Of course they weren't. They were scared to death. They hit the dirt. They wept. "Spare me!" they prayed. They could barely breathe, their terror was so great. With the night sky brightening from black to blinding phosphorescence, how could they help but quake? Which is precisely why the angel's first words were, "Fear not." "It's all right," Gabriel declared. "You can come out from under your pews now. I won't hurt you." So we peak out just a little, still trembling... only to hear a celestial chorus boom out the Christmas message, reminding us of why we actually are here tonight: "Glory to God in the highest," the heavenly host proclaims. "Peace on earth. Good will to all people."

Myth doesn't depend on fact for its validation. It depends on truth. This story may not be factual, but it speaks deep truth. Salvation and peace are so inextricably interwoven that the one cannot appear on earth without the other.

Here at All Souls we spend little time pouring over Biblical texts for their deeper meaning. For better and for worse, this particular church is Bible Optional. The book of nature we read for its revelations, it and the book of our hearts. But if our hearts dare open on Christmas Eve, they may open so wide that we have to stop and take notice. A host, an army, of angels crowds the heavens singing "Glory to God in the highest. Peace on earth good will to all people."

Not "to some people." Not "to my people." That's not what the scriptures say. Or do they? The truth is, one ancient scriptural tradition reads precisely that way. In that tradition, going back to the second century of the Common Era, this same passage reads, "Peace on earth to people of good will." You will likely find this tradition reflected in your Bible at home. For instance, the well-respected Revised Standard Version of the Bible reads, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased." That is to say, "Peace on earth for those who happen to be on God's side"– the oldest formula I know for holy war.

So this electrical storm of angels portends one of two very different things, either an eternal proclamation of the divine imperative for peace or yet another cause for orange alert. From almost the very beginning, both meanings are carried side by side within the Christian tradition. Peace and good will to all people or peace only to those with whom God is pleased.

The tradition this church follows is the former one, known throughout history as Universalist. It exists in every faith, the universal teaching of neighborly love, love to enemies, love to strangers, indeed love to everyone: black and white; straight and gay; Muslim, Jew and Christian; sheep and goats; us and them. The other tradition declares that God's chosen people will be saved, all the rest of earth's children be damned. That is Jihad. And the Crusades. It is fundamentalism, too often become a doctrine of brotherly hate and never failing to justify war in the name of peace– war against the infidel, peace in final triumph for God's soldiers. It is the single reason that religion is by far the greatest force for evil throughout the world tonight.

We have a choice. We can pray to be protected from our enemies. Or we can begin to open our hearts to them as the only way they will ever dare to open their hearts to us. Beginning in today's Bethlehem– Peace on Earth to all people. Refusing to stand passively by as narrow, divisive creeds destroy the only hope this world will ever have. We have a choice. Either we succumb to the curse of religion or we rise instead to its higher call.

By my reading of the Bible– on this night long ago a divine messenger short-circuited all the usual switches, electrifying our hearts with the only dream worth having– peace on earth. In that same spirit, tonight we can do nothing better than put ourselves on high alert for a new angel attack. Attacking our nativism and chauvinism and provincialism. Attacking our fears. Attacking our pride. Calling us too to answer to the higher angels of our nature. Calling us to proclaim and live by the universal gospel.

That then is this, my twenty-sixth Christmas message. To take Christmas seriously requires nothing less than a complete change of heart. This year, let's try to take it seriously. Peace in our homes– for everyone we greet there. Peace in our neighborhood– for all our neighbors. Peace as a true national platform. Peace as the centerpiece of a living religion that saves. After all, we too can do our part to save the world– one heart, one neighbor, one magnificent, unforgettable dream at a time. Not only is it our duty, it is our promise.

Amen. Merry Christmas. And may God bless us all.


Rev. Forrest Church, acclaimed author of more than two dozen books and longtime minister of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City, died on September 24, 2009, at the age of 61 following a three-year battle with esophageal cancer.

Church is described by UUA President Peter Morales as "a brilliant and articulate thinker, a champion of democratic values, and a compelling advocate for liberal religion. More importantly, [Forrest Church was] a kind, thoughtful, and loving spirit."

Church spent his final years reflecting on the importance of living each day with love and gratitude. He writes in Love and Death that "[the] goal is to live in such a way that our lives will prove worth dying for... The one thing that can't be taken from us, even by death, is the love we give away before we go."


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Happy Festivus!

Published Friday, December 23, 2011 @ 5:15 AM EST
Dec 23 2011

(YouTube video)

"The tradition of Festivus begins... with the airing of grievances!"

Categories: Video, YouTube

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Happy solstice!

Published Thursday, December 22, 2011 @ 3:42 AM EST
Dec 22 2011

(YouTube video: "Northern Lights," from the series "Northern Exposure")

Goethe's final words: "More light." Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that's been our unifying cry, "More light." Sunlight. Torchlight. Candlight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier's field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we're supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and footcandles. Light is metaphor. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on, the night is dark and I am far from home, lead thou me on. Arise, shine, for thy light has come. Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light. (Psalm 119:105, Dylan Thomas, John Henry Newman, Isaiah 60:1)

Categories: Video, YouTube

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Ninja cow?

Published Wednesday, December 21, 2011 @ 1:56 AM EST
Dec 21 2011

Yep, the front page of today's Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal has a story about a runaway cow in Plattsmouth, Nebraska.

Coverage of the GOP/Tea Party's House action that will raise taxes for 160 million people and cut off unemployment benefits for two million? Page A-6.

Nah, Murdoch hasn't changed the Journal much.


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Songs of the season

Published Tuesday, December 20, 2011 @ 7:18 AM EST
Dec 20 2011

(YouTube video: "Hannukah in Santa Monica")

(YouTube video: "All I Want for Christmas is Jews")

Categories: Music, Tom Lehrer, Video, YouTube

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Divine non-intervention

Published Monday, December 19, 2011 @ 7:31 AM EST
Dec 19 2011

Categories: SNL, Video, WTF?

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Remembering Kirsty

Published Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ 12:41 AM EST
Dec 18 2011

Kirsty MacColl (October 10, 1959 – December 18, 2000), a talented singer-songwriter who died saving her sons from a speeding powerboat.

(YouTube Video: Kirsty MacColl performing "They Don't Know")

Categories: Music, Video, YouTube

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A Hitchens Distillation

Published Saturday, December 17, 2011 @ 12:24 AM EST
Dec 17 2011

Two YouTube videos that provide a concentrated distillation of Hitchens' position on religion. Strong language, strong opinions, blinding lucidity.

Categories: Christopher Hitchens, Video, YouTube

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Published Friday, December 16, 2011 @ 8:26 AM EST
Dec 16 2011

“I always thought, in the death matter, an exception would be made in my case.”-Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens (April 13, 1949 – December 15, 2011) could simultaneously enrage and enlighten, irritate and inform. You have to admire someone who would take on Nietzsche while awaiting the arrival of the final darkness.

Some of Hitchens' contributions and observations...

A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realization that you can't make old friends.

A theory that seems to explain everything is just as good at explaining nothing.

Beware the irrational, however seductive.

Ernest Hemingway used to read his obituaries with a bloody Mary every day to start the day, to ward off depression. It worked for ten years... until he put the shotgun in his face.

Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that's where it should stay.

Handed a small baby for the first time, is it your first reaction to think: “Beautiful. Almost perfect. Now please hand me the sharp stone for its genitalia, that I may do the work of the Lord.”

Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.

I think [the Bible] reads as if it were written by men and women, and men and women, as we know, are one-half chromosome away from chimpanzees.

I've been nearly scratched by Mother Teresa. I've been nearly spanked by Margaret Thatcher. I could tell you stories...

It is not enough to “have” free speech. People must learn to speak freely.

One of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority.

Our prefrontal lobes are too small while our adrenal glands are too big.

Religion ends and philosophy begins, just as alchemy ends and chemistry begins and astrology ends, and astronomy begins.

Terrorism is the tactic of demanding the impossible, and demanding it at gunpoint.

The four most over-rated things in life are champagne, lobster, anal sex and picnics.

The place for religion is in the mind, within the individual.

What can be asserted without evidence, can also be dismissed without evidence.

Categories: Christopher Hitchens, Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day

Published Thursday, December 15, 2011 @ 11:57 PM EST
Dec 15 2011

Arthur C. Clarke, (December 16, 1917 - March 19, 2008)

A country's armed forces can no longer defend it; the most they can promise is the destruction of the attacker.

A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.

All explorers are seeking something they have lost. It is seldom that they find it, and more seldom still that the attainment brings them greater happiness than the quest.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be!

As every researcher just out of college knows, scientists of over fifty are good for nothing but board meetings, and should at all costs be kept out of the laboratory!

As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.

Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.

For much of history, religion may have been a necessary evil, but why has it been more evil than necessary?

How inappropriate to call this planet “Earth,” when it is clearly “Ocean.”

Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal.

I am an optimist; anyone interested in the future has to be, otherwise he would simply shoot himself.

I don't believe in God but I'm very interested in Her.

I don't pretend we have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about.

I have great faith in optimism as a guiding principle, if only because it offers us the opportunity of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I would defend the liberty of consenting adult creationists to practice whatever intellectual perversions they like in the privacy of their own homes; but it is also necessary to protect the young and innocent.

I'm appalled by what we all see on the news every day- massacres, atrocities, injustices, outrages of all kinds. When I see what's happening, I sometimes wonder if the human race deserves to survive.

I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here.

I've been saying for a long time that I'm hoping to find intelligent life in Washington.

If our wisdom fails to match our science, we will have no second chance. For there will be no one to carry our dreams across another Dark Age, when the dust of all our cities incarnadines the sunsets of the world.

If the house is to be demolished tomorrow anyhow, people seem to feel, we may as well burn the furniture today.

If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run- and often in the short one- the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.

It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars.

It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him.

It must be wonderful to be seventeen, and to know everything.

It was the mark of a barbarian to destroy something one could not understand.

My objection to organized religion is the premature conclusion to ultimate truth that it represents.

One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion. So now people assume that religion and morality have a necessary connection. But the basis of morality is really very simple and doesn't require religion at all.

Perhaps we should thank the Taliban for finishing the task the Crusades began nine hundred years ago- proving beyond further dispute that Religion is incompatible with Civilization.

Reading computer manuals without the hardware is as frustrating as reading sex manuals without the software. In both cases the cure is simple though usually very expensive.

Religion is a disease promoted by starvation, because hungry people hallucinate, and then pray for food. This is why so many religions encourage fasting: it weakens the mind.

Science can destroy a religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistence of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now.

Science fiction seldom attempts to predict the future. More often than not, it tries to prevent the future.

Science is the only religion of mankind.

Technology is really civilization, let's face it.

The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.

The more wonderful the means of communication, the more trivial, tawdry, or depressing its contents seemed to be.

The Muslims are behaving like Christians, I'm afraid.

The only real problem in life is what to do next.

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

The psychologist who famously remarked that chastity was the rarest of all sexual perversions might have added that Religion was the most common.

The Solar System is rather a large place, though whether it will be large enough for so quarrelsome an animal as Homo sapiens remains to be seen.

There is a special sadness in achievement, in the knowledge that a long-desired goal has been attained at last, and that life must now be shaped toward new ends.

There is a time to battle against Nature, and a time to obey her. True wisdom lies in making the right choice.

There is a type of mind that will believe anything if it is sufficiently fantastic, and it is a waste of time arguing with it. No one has ever received much thanks for exposing credulity.

There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.

This is the first age that's ever paid much attention to the future, which is a little ironic since we may not have one.

Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.

Unfortunately, most people do not understand even the basic elements of statistics and probability, which is why astrologers and advertising agencies flourish.

Utopia is very dull. That's the problem with science fiction. Smashing things is more interesting.

We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40- and half the things he knows at 40 hadn't been discovered when he was 20?

We seldom stop to think that we are still creatures of the sea, able to leave it only because, from birth to death, we wear the water-filled space suits of our skins.

What is life but organized energy?

What we need is a machine that will let us see the other guy's point of view.

When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

When you finally understand the universe, it will not only be stranger than you imagine, it will be stranger than you can imagine.

Why is it that almost every man, when confronted by an unhappy woman, immediately assumes that her unhappiness is somehow related to him?

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Newt's big ideas

Published Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:55 PM EST
Dec 14 2011

"His plan to fix America is for black kids to start cleaning toilets?"

(Daily Show video: Larry Wilmore analyzes Newtspeak.)

"I didn't know there was a black poverty, Jon, I thought it was just poverty. Okay? We can't even be poor as good as you guys?

"Somehow when black people are poor, it's their fault. They're on welfare and lazy. But down in poor white Appalachia, you're not the problem. It's China's fault or India's fault, or all the money we're spending on black people on welfare. I'm sorry- inner-city government subsidy recipients."

But the trophy goes to The Colbert Report, which reveals the true source of Newt's most audacious ideas:

(Colbert Report video: Stephen discovers Newt's true alter ego.)

Categories: Colbert Report, Daily Show, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert

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Observation of the day

Published Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 11:00 AM EST
Dec 14 2011

An “American tradition” is anything that happened to a baby boomer twice.
-Randall Munroe


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Quotes of the day

Published Wednesday, December 14, 2011 @ 12:01 AM EST
Dec 14 2011

George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)

Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.

Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections.-The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.

Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country.

Example, whether it be good or bad, has a powerful influence.

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

I am for free commerce with all nations; political connection with none; and little or no diplomatic establishment.

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.

It is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones.

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.

Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!

Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.

Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated.

Prosperity destroys fools and endangers the wise.

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.

The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favours from nation to nation.

To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a Government for the whole is indispensable.

Undertake not what you can not perform, but be careful to keep your promises.

We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart.

George Washington's brother, Lawrence, was the Uncle of Our Country.
-George Carlin

Categories: George Carlin, Quotes of the day

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Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk

Published Tuesday, December 13, 2011 @ 3:47 AM EST
Dec 13 2011

(YouTube video: Trailer for "The Three Stooges")

This actually looks like it might work.

Categories: Video, YouTube

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Quote of the day

Published Monday, December 12, 2011 @ 2:06 PM EST
Dec 12 2011

An executive from the E! Network has stated that there could be as many as four new Kardashian spinoff shows. He then added, “Unless our demands are met.”
-Conan O'Brien

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Never attribute to malice...

Published Monday, December 12, 2011 @ 5:11 AM EST
Dec 12 2011

...that which can be blamed on stupidity, but this is stupidity that defies belief.

Snopes.com, an essential tool in countering the flood of urban legends and false information that appears routinely on the net, has apparently been banned by Facebook.

Links to Snopes from within posts are intercepted. Facebook warns the site may be "unsafe" or "spammy."


Just last month, Facebook flooded users' newsfeeds with graphic porn. It routinely features links to ads and apps harboring underlying malware. And let's not forget the recent Federal Trade Commission order directing Facebook to cease its "unfair and deceptive practices" which routinely violated users' private information. The offenses were such that Facebook will undergo privacy audits for the next 20 years.

True, a Snopes search may trigger a pop-up window featuring an ad. But it's really stretching things to call that common behavior "unsafe" or "spammy."

Perhaps it's seasonal. With all the "War on Christmas" blatherings and phony quasi-religious postings, Snopes probably gets more links from Facebook during December than the rest of the year. Perhaps some internal Facebook spam metric was triggered from the increased activity.

Whatever. Facebook needs to stop interfering with Snopes now.

UPDATE: Whether due to human intervention or an automated triggering mechanism, as of noon EDT 12/12/11, Snopes is no longer being blocked.

Categories: WTF?

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"High Flight"'s Pittsburgh connection

Published Sunday, December 11, 2011 @ 4:10 AM EST
Dec 11 2011

Seventy years ago today, a 19-year-old American aviator was killed overseas.

The Royal Canadian Air Force Spitfire he was piloting collided with another military plane in cloud cover 1,400 feet above the hamlet of Roxholme in Lincolnshire, England.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. is remembered not for the accident that claimed his life, or for his relation to the wealthy Pittsburgh Magee family, but for a poem he had written a few months earlier and had mailed to his parents on the back of a letter:

   "High Flight"

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    of sun-split clouds, -- and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of -- wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air...

    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew --
    And, while with silent lifting mind I have trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    - Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Published after his death, Magee's "High Flight" is now closely associated with military aviators and astronauts.

Speechwriter Peggy Noonan quoted parts of the first and last lines of the poem in remarks she wrote for President Ronald Reagan following the Space Shutle Challenger disaster.

However, most people forty and over are familiar with "High Flight" as a TV station "sign-off":

(YouTube video: "High Flight," often used by television stations to end the broadcast day. This version is from the 1960s)

Categories: Video, YouTube

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A birthday fanfare for Sandy

Published Saturday, December 10, 2011 @ 12:02 AM EST
Dec 10 2011

Alexander (Sandy) Courage, who wrote the enduring, eight-note Fanfare for the Starship Enterprise and the theme to the television series Star Trek, was born on December 10, 1919 in Philadelphia. He died May 15, 2008 in Pacific Palisades, California. He was 88.

Fanfare, written in 1965 for the first of two Star Trek pilots, was heard throughout the three original seasons of the show, has been reprised in all of the Trek feature films and several of the TV series, and may be the single best-known fanfare in the world. When told by writer Jon Burlingame that more people knew his Trek flourish than Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, "Courage- in his typically self-deprecating fashion- said that must surely be an exaggeration," Burlingame reported.

Courage was not the first choice to write the Star Trek theme. Trek creator Gene Roddenberry initially approached Jerry Goldsmith with the assignment. Goldsmith declined because of other commitments, and recommended Courage. Much later, Courage did the orchestrations for Goldsmith's scores for Star Trek- First Contact and Star Trek- Insurrection.

In addition to the fanfare, the series theme and the scores for the two pilot episodes ("The Cage" and "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), Courage composed the music for four episodes: "The Man Trap" and "The Naked Time" in the series' first season, and "The Enterprise Incident" and "Plato's Stepchildren" in the third. However, themes from first season score were frequently "tracked" in other episodes.

Jeff Bond of TrekMovie.com ended his comprehensive article on Courage with a quote by Michael Giacchino, who scored J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot:

"... Alexander Courage is responsible for the musical heart to the world of Star Trek. I feel that if you were to strip away everything, bit by bit, in order of importance, the last thing you would be holding in your hands would be the sheet music for the opening fanfare to the Star Trek main theme. To me, that small piece of music is and always shall be Star Trek."

Categories: Music, Star Trek, Video, YouTube

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Amazing Grace

Published Friday, December 09, 2011 @ 5:57 AM EST
Dec 09 2011

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer. A pioneer in the field, she was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, and developed the first compiler for a computer programming language. She conceptualized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term "debugging" for fixing computer glitches (motivated by an actual moth removed from the computer). Because of the breadth of her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as "Amazing Grace." The U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) was named for her. (Wikipedia)

Rear Admiral Hopper was profiled on CBS' 60 Minutes in 1982, a year after the introduction of the IBM Personal Computer, but before microcomputers were in widespread use.

A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.

For the rest of your life, every time you say “We've always done it that way,” my ghost will appear and haunt you for twenty-four hours.

It's much easier to apologize sometimes than it is to get permission.

Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems.

You cannot manage a man into combat; you must lead him. You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership.

It's something you learn in your first boot camp or training camp. If they put you down somewhere with nothing to do, go to sleep.

Categories: Video, YouTube

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Quotes of the day

Published Thursday, December 08, 2011 @ 12:03 AM EST
Dec 08 2011

James Thurber (b. December 8, 1894)

A burden in the bush is worth two on your hands.

A little crotch kicking is a good thing, if done in anger. I can't stand guys who are merely piqued by the unforgivable...

A man's bed is his cradle, but a woman's is often her rack.

A pinch of probably is worth a pound of perhaps.

A woman's place is in the wrong.

All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

American college students are like American colleges; each has half-dulled faculties.

But what is all this fear of and opposition to oblivion? What is the matter with the soft darkness, the dreamless sleep?

Childhood used to end with the discovery that there is no Santa Claus. Nowadays, it often ends when the child gets his first adult, the way Hemingway got his first rhino, with the difference that the rhino was charging Hemingway, whereas the adult is usually running away from the child.

Discussion in America means dissent.

Do not look back in anger, or forward in fear, but around in awareness.

Don't get it right, just get it written.

Don't let the chip on your shoulder be your only reason for walking erect.

Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead.

He knows all about art, but he doesn't know what he likes.

He who hesitates is sometimes saved.

Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.

I hate women because they always know where things are.

I loathe the expression “What makes him tick.” It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.

I spit on the grave of my awful forties.
(on turning 50)

I suppose that even the most pleasurable of imaginable occupations, that of batting baseballs through the windows of the RCA Building, would pall a little as the days ran on.

I think that maybe if women and children were in charge we would get somewhere.

I wouldn't go down there if they was Fig Newtons down there.

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.

In his grief over the loss of a dog, a little boy stands for the first time on tiptoe, peering into the rueful morrow of manhood. After this most inconsolable of sorrows there is nothing life can do to him that he will not be able somehow to bear.

It had only one fault. It was kind of lousy.

It's better to know some of the questions, than all of the answers.

Love is blind, but desire just doesn't give a good goddamn.

Man has gone long enough, or even too long, without being man enough to face the simple truth that the trouble with Man is Man.

Men are more interesting than women, but women are more fascinating.

Nowadays men live lives of noisy desperation.

One &lsqbmartini&rsqb is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.

Our love never ripened into friendship.

She said he proposed something on their wedding night her own brother wouldn't have suggested.

She who goes unarmed in paradise had better be sure that is where she is.

Sixty minutes of thinking of any kind is bound to lead to confusion and unhappiness.

So much has already been written about everything that you can't find out anything about it.

Sometimes the news from Washington forces me to the conclusion that your mother and your brother Ed are in charge.
(cartoon caption)

The human being says that the beast in him has been aroused, when what he actually means is that the human being in him has been aroused.

The material on me... was so extensive that the writer couldn't find anything he was looking for, and, with data up to his waist, had to guess and make things up.

The most dangerous food is wedding cake.

The past is an old armchair in the attic, the present an ominous ticking sound, and the future is anybody's guess.

The saddest words of pen or tongue are wisdom's wasted on the young.

The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.

The written word will soon disappear and we'll no longer be able to read good prose like we used to could. This prospect does not gentle my thoughts or tranquil me toward the future.

There are two kinds of light- the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.

There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.

There is something about a poet which leads us to believe that he died, in many cases, as long as twenty years before his birth.

We must all study German. When Fate knocks in German, by God you hear it.

What this country needs is a good detached retinue.
(to his ophthalmologist)

Where did you get those big brown eyes and that tiny mind? (cartoon caption)

Where most of us end up there is no knowing, but the hell-bent get where they are going.

Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?

Women deserve to have more than 12 years between the ages of 28 and 40.

You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.

You can tell where I get my ideas from the things I write, and then you will know as much about it as I do.

You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.

Categories: James Thurber, Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day

Published Wednesday, December 07, 2011 @ 12:02 AM EST
Dec 07 2011

Noam Chomsky (b. December 7, 1928):

Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.

As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.

Businesses try to maximize profit, power, market share and control over the state. Sometimes what they do helps other people, but that's just by chance.

Education is a condition of imposed ignorance!

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.

How it is we have so much information, but know so little?

I think there is a good reason why the propaganda system works that way. It recognizes that the public will not support the actual policies. Therefore it is important to prevent any knowledge or understanding of them.

I think we can be reasonably confident that if the American population had the slightest idea of what is being done in their name, they would be utterly appalled.

I was never aware of any other option but to question everything.

If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.

If you think the wrong thoughts, you're not in the system.

In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued- they may be essential to survival.

See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence.

Sports plays a societal role in engendering jingoist and chauvinist attitudes. They're designed to organize a community to be committed to their gladiators.

The country was founded on the principle that the primary role of government is to protect property from the majority, and so it remains.

The Internet is an elite organization; most of the population of the world has never even made a phone call.

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.

The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.

The press is owned by wealthy men who only want certain things to reach the public.

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum- even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

There's a good reason why nobody studies history. It just teaches you too much.

To some degree it matters who's in office, but it matters more how much pressure they're under from the public.

“Tough love” is just the right phrase: love for the rich and privileged, tough for everyone else.

Unfortunately, you can't vote the rascals out, because you never voted them in, in the first place.

We shouldn't be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas.

You don't get to be a respected intellectual by uttering truisms in monosyllables.

You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it.

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Quotes of the day

Published Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 7:11 AM EST
Dec 06 2011

Steven Wright (b. December 6, 1955):

A friend of mine has a trophy wife but apparently it wasn't first place.

A metaphor is like a simile.

After they make Styrofoam, what do they ship it in?

Anywhere is walking distance, if you've got the time.

Babies don't need vacations, but I still see them at the beach.

Ballerinas are always on their toes. Why don't they just get taller ballerinas?

Cross-country skiing is great, if you live in a small country.

Ever notice how irons have a setting for permanent press? I don't get it.

Hermits have no peer pressure.

How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn't live there?

I accidentally installed the deer whistles on my car backward. Now everywhere I drive, I'm chased by a herd of deer.

I can levitate birds. No one cares.

I didn't get a toy train like the other kids. I got a toy subway instead. You couldn't see anything, but every now and then you'd hear this rumbling noise go by.

I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.

I had a friend who was a clown. When he died, all his friends went to the funeral... in one car.

I have a microwave fireplace. You can lay down in front of the fire all night in eight minutes.

I have an existential map. It has YOU ARE HERE written all over it.

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.

I like to skate on the other side of the ice.

I think God's going to come down and pull civilization over for speeding.

I went to a restaurant that serves “breakfast at any time.” So I ordered french toast during the Renaissance.

I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

I'm a peripheral visionary. I can see into the future, but only off to the side.

I'm addicted to placebos. I'd quit, but it wouldn't matter.

If cats and dogs didn't have fur would we still pet them?

If God dropped acid, would he see people?

If you can't hear me, it's because I'm speaking in parentheses.

If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?

In relativity theory, space and time are the same thing. Einstein discovered this when he kept showing up three miles late for his meetings.

It was the first time I was ever in love, and I learned a lot. Before that, I never even thought about killing myself.

Last night I played a blank tape at full blast. The mime next door went nuts.

My hobby is not committing suicide.

My school colors were clear. We used to say, “I'm not naked, I'm in the band.”

My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted.

Next week I'm going to have an MRI to see whether or not I have claustrophobia.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.

The first time I read the dictionary I thought it was a poem about everything.

The temperature in any room is room temperature.

There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

They say you're not supposed put metal in a microwave oven. They're right.

We had a quicksand box in our back yard. I was an only child, eventually.

What's another word for “thesaurus?”

When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, “Well, what do you need?”

You can't have everything. Where would you put it?

Categories: Quotes of the day, Steven Wright

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Quotes of the day

Published Monday, December 05, 2011 @ 12:00 AM EST
Dec 05 2011

Calvin Trillin (b. December 5, 1935):

Americans drive across the country as if someone's chasing them.

As far as I'm concerned, “whom” is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.

Health food makes me sick.

I don't care where I sit, as long as I get fed.

I never did very well in math- I could never seem to persuade the teacher that I hadn't meant my answers literally.

If Lincoln freed the slaves and preserved the Union, how come “Lincolnesque” just means tall?

In modern America, anyone who attempts to write satirically about the events of the day finds it difficult to concoct a situation so bizarre that it may not actually come to pass while the article is still on the presses.

(Daily Show: Trillin demonstrates how bizarre, concocted satire can become reality.)

Marriage is part of a sort of 50s revival package that's back in vogue along with neckties and naked ambition.

Not as bad as you might have expected.
(his suggested state motto for New Jersey)

The price of purity is purists.

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.

When someone reaches middle age, people he knows begin to get put in charge of things, and knowing what he knows about the people who are being put in charge of things scares the hell out of him.

Categories: Daily Show, Jon Stewart, Quotes of the day, Video

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Quote of the day

Published Sunday, December 04, 2011 @ 12:48 AM EST
Dec 04 2011

Calling Newt Gingrich the GOP's "intellectual" candidate is like saying Moe was the "smart" Stooge.

Categories: Quotes of the day

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Remembering Madeline

Published Saturday, December 03, 2011 @ 5:44 AM EST
Dec 03 2011

YouTube video: Madeline Kahn (September 29, 1942 – December 3, 1999) as Lili con Shtupp in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (1974). Kahn received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Categories: Video, YouTube

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Published Friday, December 02, 2011 @ 2:41 AM EST
Dec 02 2011

Recent Mars missions indicate the red planet's atmosphere contains methane gas.

Methane also exists here on Earth, where it's closely tracked as a greenhouse gas that's contributing to climate change. The nice folks at the EPA have a spiffy chart that tracks the sources and quantities of methane released into the atmosphere each year.

If we eliminate human activities from the list, it appears most methane is produced by something called "enteric fermentation in ruminant livestock." (Enteric fermentation is the politically correct definition of burps and farts.)

Which means:

Mars has cows!

Categories: WTF?

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Quotes of the day

Published Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 8:29 AM EST
Dec 01 2011

Woody Allen (born Allan Stewart Konigsberg; December 1, 1935)

A relationship is like a shark‐ it has to keep moving forward or it dies. Well, what we have on our hands here is a dead shark.

All people know the same truth; our lives consist of how we choose to distort them.

As the poet said, “Only God can make a tree”‐ probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.

Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats.

Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.

Cloquet hated reality but realized it was still the only place to get a good steak.

Death should not be seen as the end but as a very effective way to cut down expenses.

Early in life, I was visited by the bluebird of anxiety.

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

Eternity is really long, especially near the end.

God is silent‐ now if we can only get man to shut up.

How can I believe in God when last week I got my tongue stuck in the roller of an electric typewriter?

Hypocrite: a guy who writes a book on atheism and prays that it sells.

I am at two with nature.

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.

I believe there's something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

I can't express anger. I grow a tumor instead.

I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.

I can't make the leap of faith necessary to believe in my own existence.

I do not believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying.

I have an intense desire to return to the womb. Anybody's.

I really don't care about commercial success, and the end result is I rarely achieve it.

I recently turned sixty. Practically a third of my life is over.

I think crime pays. The hours are good, you meet a lot of interesting people, you travel a lot.

I think that people should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics.

I think you should defend to the death their right to march, and then go down and meet them with baseball bats.

I took a speed‐reading course and read “War and Peace” in 20 minutes. It involves Russia.

I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer, but I had some problems with buoyancy.

I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.

I'd call him a sadistic, hippophilic necrophile, but that would be beating a dead horse.

I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens.

If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse.

If I believed in reincarnation, I'd come back as a sponge.

If my soul exists without my body I am convinced all my clothes will be loose‐fitting.

If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.

In California, they don't throw their garbage away‐ they make it into TV shows.

In real life, [Diane] Keaton believes in God. But she also believes the radio works because there are tiny people inside it.

Intellectuals are like the mafia; they only kill their own.

Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought, particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things.

It was the day after Jean‐Paul Sartre died.
(recalling under oath the day in 1980 he first met Mia Farrow)

It's worse than dog eats dog. It's dog doesn't even return other dog's phone calls.

Life doesn't imitate art. It imitates bad television.

Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.

Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering‐ and it's all over much too soon.

Man consists of two parts, his mind and his body, only the body has more fun.

Marriage? That's for life! It's like cement!

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

Most of the time I don't have much fun. The rest of the time I don't have any fun at all.

My brain is my second favorite organ.

My one regret in life is that I am not someone else.

My parents stayed together for forty years. But that was out of spite.

My relationship to death remains the same. I'm strongly against it.

Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday.

Oh, now there's only one kind of love that lasts. That's unrequited love. It stays with you forever.

On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done as easily lying down.

Organized crime in America takes in over $40 billion a year and spends very little on office supplies.

Political questions, if you go back thousands of years, are ephemeral, not important. History is the same thing over and over again.

Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast.

Sex alleviates tension. Love causes it.

Sex between a man and a woman can be wonderful‐ provided you get between the right man and the right woman.

Sex between two people is a beautiful thing; between five, it's fantastic...

Sex is like having dinner: sometimes you joke about the dishes, sometimes you take the meal seriously.

Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as meaningless experiences go it's pretty damned good.

She was an atheist and I was an agnostic. We didn't know what religion not to bring our children up in.

Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle.

Some guy hit my fender and I said “be fruitful and multiply” but not in those words.

The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you.

The good people sleep much better at night than the bad people. Of course, the bad people enjoy the waking hours much more.

The last time I was inside a woman was when I visited the Statue of Liberty.

The lion and the lamb shall lie down together, but the lamb won't get much sleep.

The message is God is love and you should lay off fatty foods.

The only thing standing between me and greatness is me.

The three most beautiful words in the English language are not “I love you.” They are, “It is benign.”

The universe is merely a fleeting idea in God's mind‐ a pretty uncomfortable thought, particularly if you've just made a down payment on a house.

There's nothing wrong with you that some Prozac and a polo mallet wouldn't fix.

Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.

To me there's no real difference between a fortune teller or a fortune cookie and any of the organized religions. They're all equally valid or invalid, really. And equally helpful.

To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.

Tradition is the illusion of permanence.

We will run amok together, and then, when we get tired, we will walk amok.
(As Jimmy Bond in Casino Royale)

What a wonderful thing, to be conscious! I wonder what the people in New Jersey do?

What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.

Whosoever shall not fall by the sword or by famine, shall fall by pestilence; so why bother shaving?

With me, it's just a genetic dissatisfaction with everything.

You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to.

You cannot prove the nonexistence of God; you just have to take it on faith.

Zen boy scout: rubs one stick together.

Categories: Quotes of the day

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